This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Panera: Speak Chipotle, Say Less Than McDonald's

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I want to start by saying that I really like Panera Bread Company (PNRA). I like its food, its management team (lead by founder and CEO Ron Shaich) and its restaurant atmosphere.

With that being said, the fast-casual diner is not growing quite as quickly as many of us shareholders have hoped, despite the stock rallying in recent weeks, it's up about $12 from the first of the year. In its most recent quarter, Panera barely beat earnings per share estimates, slightly missed revenue estimates and guided below the Street's consensus for next quarter's EPS estimates. 

One of the company's main issues has to do with throughput during peak hours. In other words, Panera is struggling to handle its large customer flow during its busiest hours. 

Among other things, (such as drive-throughs in select locations and better, faster cooking equipment), could the throughput issue simply be solved by using a different menu? 

Before we delve deeper into this conversation, take a look at what TheStreet's Jim Cramer, co-manager of the Action Alerts PLUS portfolio, had to say about the company and its management: 

Throughput is an issue here. During the company's most recent earnings call, Roger Matthews, executive vice president and CFO of Panera, discussed the changes the company is making to the menu. He said, "the intention of our new menu structure is to make it easier for guests to understand our product offerings... and offer greater visibility to the range of price points."

A little later, Mathews also mentions that this easier-to-read menu could help with the throughput issue. (To listen to conference call, the dial-in phone number is available, here). Obviously management has noticed the menu issue and admits it could be responsible for slowing things down. 

1 of 4

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,279.74 +13.75 0.08%
S&P 500 2,010.40 -0.96 -0.05%
NASDAQ 4,579.7890 -13.6380 -0.30%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs